For This Still Anonymous Restaurant Critic, Two Out of Three is Good

San Francisco Chronicle vet explains the benefits of an increasingly questioned approach

Some thoughtful and thought-provoking ruminations today from San Francisco Chronicle executive food and wine editor Michael Bauer. On the heels of LA Times Pulitzer winner Jonathan Gold‘s front-page weekend coming out, he explains that he is not ready to abandon the veil of professional anonymity.

From Bauer’s blog post:

I’ve always said that in an ideal world I’d be unrecognized twice and recognized once, which would give me the benefit of seeing what the kitchen routinely puts out, and then witnessing the very best they can do — presuming they care about impressing critics.

While some people think anonymity is a ruse in these times, I still believe that trying to maintain a low profile has an advantage. If nothing else, it sends the message that I’m trying to emulate the experience of an average diner and it lets the restaurant know that I’m not out for free food or special treatment. Most restaurants understand the rules and how I operate so chefs rarely send out extra courses or try to comp a meal.

Bauer also revisits a recent, comical Twitter fail that revealed both his third-time destination and reservation pseudonym for an assignment encompassing Huxley. That review will be shared this weekend.

[Photo via: @michaelbauer1]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: January 27, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT